Moyne in statewide council anti-fracking push

MOYNE Shire Council hopes to lead a push to oppose the exploration and extraction of coal seam gas in Victoria.

At the council’s March meeting in Mortlake last night Cr Ralph Leutton put forward a motion which seeks the support of councils across the state.

He called on Moyne to put forward a motion at the state council of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) calling on all municipalities to oppose the exploration for and extraction of coal seam gas within the state.

Cr Leutton received strong support from the other councillors present — Jim Doukas, Anthony Keane, Mick Wolfe and mayor James Purcell.

The state council of the MAV will be held on May 16 with all motions to be received a month in advance.

Cr Leutton said a public meeting at Crossley on March 12 opposing coal seam gas had attracted more than 100 people who had expressed their discontent on the matter.

He said coal seam gas would be of no benefit to south-west Victoria whatsoever while causing significant damage to the what is one of the country’s key food bowls.

Cr Leutton said there were two ways of protesting against coal steam gas: standing in front of the bulldozers or pooling the support of councils across the state to prevent such drastic moves being necessary. 

Cr Doukas was clear in his support of presenting the motion to the MAV state council,  describing the exploration and extraction of coal seam gas as a terrorist attack on agricultural communities.

The council meeting last night also addressed another environmental matter with a motion passed to write to the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and Parks Victoria expressing concern about the flooding  of the Curdies River at Peterborough last August.

Heavy rains and a blocked estuary entrance combined to cause the flooding which almost rose to such a level as to cause damage to nearby properties.

Council is keen to see a better process put in place to open the mouth of the river more quickly should such a scenario occur again.

Cr Mick Wolfe said hopefully council can help the responsible organisations come to an agreement to cut through the bureaucracy so that when the river mouth needs to be open it is done.

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